Monday in Chengdu

March 23, 2015

We had a great spring day in Chengdu! Students returned from the weekend happy and with stories about their adventures:

Aidan experienced a fish pedicure – he soaked his feet in a tub of water  while the fish nibbled at the dead skin on his toes,

Andrew went ice skating and took a bike ride,

Anna enjoyed Saturday tea time with her family,

Brenna played many sports with her host family including soccer, badminton and volleyball,

Ellie and Sherry rode rides at an amusement park,

Grace attended a wedding banquet where the bride and groom both wore traditional red,

Henry took a train ride to Chongqing, about two hours away,

Kohuske visited a local market with his family,

Sam ate intestine soup!
Our kids attended a couple of classes with their Chinese hosts before the official Welcoming Ceremony. We all stood on the stage before the 4,000 students of the Chengdu Experimental Foreign Language School (more than all the people in Bethel!). When Mr. Penley began his speech, speaking in Chinese, the crowd cheered and clapped. He was a rock star! Apparently, all other non-Chinese visitors have used a translator. We presented the principal Mr. Wang with our gift- a wooden plaque made at school in the shape of Maine with the Gould insignia and a quotation from the Analects of Confucius on the back. They seemed to like it.

Our group with some of the senior administration of CEFLS, this year's host students and the students who visited Gould last fall.

Our group with some of the senior administration of CEFLS, this year’s host students and the students who visited Gould last fall.

One portion of the group we looked out upon as we stood on stage at assembly this morning.

One portion of the group we looked out upon as we stood on stage at assembly this morning.

Principal Wang holds up the gift from Gould, a maple cut out of the state of Maine sourced of Maine products and made in the Gould IDEAS Center.

Principal Wang holds up the gift from Gould, a maple cut out of the state of Maine sourced of Maine products and made in the Gould IDEAS Center.

We then boarded a bus and visited the Wuhou Temple and had some time for shopping on Jingli Street.

A group of students taking a moment to relax at Wuhou Temple.

A group of students taking a moment to relax at Wuhou Temple.

Brenna  and Grace compare purchases while taking a rest on Jinli street.

Brenna and Grace compare purchases while taking a rest on Jinli street.

We were delighted to meet up with Jingfei, a senior Gould student who is from Chengdu. We also looked around a high end shopping area called Taikoo Li.

Leaving the subway on the way back to school. In front are our two guides for the day, Rachel and Felix.

Leaving the subway on the way back to school. In front are our two guides for the day, Rachel and Felix.

Jingfei, a Gould senior and Proctor in Davidson, is from Chengdu. So he came and met up with us this afternoon as a surprise. Everyone was excited to see him!

Jingfei, a Gould senior and Proctor in Davidson, is from Chengdu. So he came and met up with us this afternoon as a surprise. Everyone was excited to see him!

On our return to school we participated in “English Corner”, a chance for students in Grade 8 to speak with native English speakers.

The scene at English Corner. The 8th graders were very excited to have a chance to chat with us.

The scene at English Corner. The 8th graders were very excited to have a chance to chat with us.

Ana signs autographs for the girls waiting to talk to her at English Corner, a weekly event for the students to practice speaking in English.

Ana signs autographs for the girls waiting to talk to her at English Corner, a weekly event for the students to practice speaking in English.

 

Sam holding court during English Corner with a group of new friends.

Sam holding court during English Corner with a group of new friends.

Andrew and Ana are mobbed with new friends want to talk and get signatures at English Corner.

Andrew and Ana are mobbed with new friends want to talk and get signatures at English Corner.

Henry signing the sleeve of one girl's uniform! I think we have an inkling of what it feels like to be a rockstar...

Henry signing the sleeve of one girl’s uniform! I think we have an inkling of what it feels like to be a rockstar…

Besides the conversation, everyone was sought after for autographs, especially from some of our boys who the Chinese girls swarmed and said they found them to be “very handsome.” When it was over Andrew was shaking his head saying “I think I’ll  need an ego check after that!”

Andrew "Handsome Boy" Gray and some of the eight grade girls.

Andrew “Handsome Boy” Gray and some of the eight grade girls.

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